Sunday, 26 February 2012

U.S. imports from China.

Notice anything wrong with this St Louis Fed chart showing U.S. imports from China?


Look at the figures down the left hand side. Imports are given as roughly $30,000 million: i.e. $30,000,000,000.

Still not got it?

Divide current imports from China by the U.S. population (roughly 300 million) and the answer is $100 per U.S. citizen per year.

Er . . . I think that’s a bit low. In fact I think there is a zero missing from those numbers down the left hand side.

I contacted the St Louis Fed to tell them. And they’ll probably write back to say it’s me that is talking bo**ocks (which it usually is).



  1. Unless that's the value when it leaves China, and before it's been handled by (often US-owned) intermediaries based in the Caribbean and elsewhere? James Kynge reckons China gets 15% of the end user price.

  2. I think those are monthly numbers. $100 a month. That would add the zero you're thinking should be there on a yearly basis

    1. Michael, Looks like you are right. But they should put $ / month on that chart, because most people will assume its $ / year I think.


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